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ZX Spectrum
Mike Lamb
I used to play Clowns (was it called that?) a lot in the arcades. I found it funny bumping those guys heads into the balloons.

For a few years it was quiet for this kind of Breakout game but then in 1986 along came Arkanoid.

Arkanoid is a great arcade Breakout variant with innovative additions. Like Breakout you have to clean the screen by breaking the bricks with your bat and ball. Some bricks drop capsules with special features, others need several hits or are unbreakable (frustrating level 3). Features like: extra large bat, slow down speed, triple balls, extra life, sticky bat, laser bat and advance one level.

Another original feature is the hazards which appear after you play a level for a while. If hit by your ball these hazards mostly change the balls course. Sometimes helpful to get that last brick but most of the time very annoying. Luckily they are wasted if hit by your bat or paddle.

There is even a plot. You have to reach the end of game boss Doh (some sort of "Easter Island" statue) and wipe him out by hitting him several times on the head.

The bricks and backdrops are very colourful and the screen layout has several themes. I think all 33 screens are included in the conversion. I did finish it twice but that was long ago.

I prefer the original Arkanoid above Arkanoid 2 - Revenge of Doh, because the latter suffered from some backdrop colour clash. This is only true for the Spectrum version because other computer model versions don't have this problem.

A game Crash really underrated in my opinion.

Your Sinclair:
RATING: 9 /10

'Surprisingly addictive considering its ancient gameplay'

Amazing how addictive a Breakout variant can be ...

More bat/ball fun ...

Graphics: 90%

Sound: 85%

Gameplay: 92 %

Overall: 89%
Simple but colourful, with some shading on the bricks. Smooth movement even if there is a lot happening on the screen. Nice little intro scene and hi-score table. Lots of variations in the layout department. Can't top the C64 version but all sounds are in and beautifully done. The urge to clear the screen and reach the final boss is high. Helped by smooth ball control and hi-score play. Again an excellent arcade conversion from Probe. Plays heavily on your "clear that screen" physical thing.

R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S

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